Aug. 3, 2019
Several years ago, local Boston resident Ryan DeRoche was in a mountain bike accident that resulted in a severe spinal cord injury and left him with little to no use of his arms and legs. His life changed in an instant. But through Massachusetts-based National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), Ryan was matched with service dog Oliver, who just completed his training at a Boston-based jail. The two have been inseparable ever since. Oliver is specially trained to help Ryan be independent – assisting him with daily tasks like opening and closing doors and getting things in hard-to-reach places. Emotionally, he also has a way of knowing if Ryan is sad, angry or frustrated, and knows exactly how to cheer up his human buddy with attention and kisses. Oliver changed Ryan’s life, and he couldn’t imagine a life without his furry sidekick.
Ryan and Oliver are working with Merck Animal Health and NEADs to highlight the critical role service dogs play and the importance of keeping them healthy. The campaign – called BRAVECTO™ Cares – focuses on the health of service dogs, including protecting them from fleas and ticks, and underscores the importance of keeping family pets protected, as well.
Fleas and ticks can carry illnesses, such as Lyme disease, to our pets and our families, and CDC-reported illnesses in humans have tripled in recent years. If service dogs are not at optimal health, they will not be at ideal performance and can potentially put their handler at risk.
For more information, you can also visit the website www.protectfromfleasandticks.com.